Interactive Teaching Resources for the COVID-19 Era
So it’s 2021, and most children in England have returned to remote learning as the country enters its third lockdown period. In March 2020, schools were closed to most children to limit the spread of coronavirus. That meant learning from their living rooms or kitchens for several months whilst parents googled: ‘how do I homeschool my child?’.
History seems to be repeating itself. But we know that schools and teachers are more prepared than ever before to provide virtual lessons. The challenge is engaging students with creative lesson plans through a screen. So, here are The Global Classroom’s top five teaching ideas for you to incorporate into your online lessons to enhance student engagement.
Number One – The Global Classroom
Whilst The Global Classroom provides live international classrooms for your students to participate in, all of our classroom events are available, in full, on both our website and YouTube channel. If you’re looking to engage your students in global conversations, provide them with inspirational advice from outstanding role models, or teach them about the importance of protecting their health. The Global Classroom has resources to support you.
If you can attend one of our live classroom sessions, then this is a chance for incredible interactions across the globe. Alternatively, you can play sections of our classroom discussions and then pause for your own discussion for free.
Students love videos, and we know from various research studies that video is one of the most engaging mediums in our current climate, particularly on social media. So why not put your students’ obsession with social media to good use during your lesson and share videos with them? Even better, videos from The Global Classroom feature partners from WHO, Disney, National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institute! Your class is probably going to be more excited to discuss a topic if Bear Grylls is team teaching with you for five minutes.
Number Two – Kahoot!
Virtual quizzes are one of the best resources to use in a creative lesson plan to engage your students, regardless of their location. Kahoot! is a fantastic quiz tool for lessons taught in school. It’s worth investigating both the free and paid features of this creative tool.
Kahoot! has grown significantly, and now offers a range of learning opportunities for you to use with your students. You can use this platform at any point during your lesson. It’s perfect if you want to gauge knowledge levels before a lesson to help pitch the difficulty. It’s also an effective tool to evaluate progress at the end of a lesson too.
Students don’t need to create their own accounts to take part. Using a computer or their phone, they simply visit the website and input a code. They create their name (obviously warnings can be given about inappropriate name selection) and are ready to play. As the teacher, you can use picture rounds, multiple-choice, and many more options to test their learning. This will all be visible on your main screen so that when students answer, their name shows up. Students earn points for how quickly they answer questions, so the more engaged your students are, the more likely they are to win.
The fantastic thing about Kahoot! Is the visual stimulation it provides alongside time-sensitive accountability. Some healthy, friendly competition is sure to inject some energy and enthusiasm back into the lesson, especially if your lesson is just before lunch or at the end of the day.
Number Three – Polls
Take advantage of the video software that you’re using. Does it allow for breakout rooms or polls? If, for example, you’re teaching via Zoom, using interactive polls is an effective learning technique to gauge your students’ current engagement, whilst simultaneously evaluating their progress.
On Zoom, you can also download the poll results after your session. This allows you to keep a record of these progress evaluations to count towards pupil progress meetings and overall pupil tracking. They’re a great interactive tool to deploy when you sense that screen fatigue is setting in for your class.
So, research your virtual teaching platform tools and set your polls up in advance of your lesson. Then get ready to use them as your secret weapon.
Number Four – Microsoft Teams
You may have heard this term floating around a lot within the education sector over the last year, and if your school isn’t making use of Microsoft Teams yet, then what are you waiting for? This incredible platform provided by Microsoft is a fantastic interactive resource to support your creative lesson planning. Some plans are available for free to education institutions, so go and explore all of their offerings.
When you’re in school, students can keep all of their work stored on school computers and in their school provided workbooks, making it easy for you to track and mark work. If a student is working from home, it’s harder to collect, store, track and mark their written work. Microsoft Teams provides a platform for you to set work, collect homework and classwork, provide resources and communicate with your students on one secure, safeguarded platform.
As a teacher, you can mark work and provide feedback too, which will be particularly invaluable to secondary school students who are working on coursework. Having all of your students’ work documented alongside your feedback is also fantastic proof of your remote teaching if parents wish to check the quality of the remote education their children are receiving. It will assist them when they support their child’s learning too. This holistic platform also allows teachers to record wellbeing progress alongside academic development, which will be of excellent use during these months when students are at home.
Number Five – ClassDojo
Our final interactive teaching resource to support your creative lesson plan is ClassDojo. This educational resource aims to bring every family into the classroom, and perhaps in the COVID era, bring every teacher into the living room.
This platform is excellent for two reasons: it provides fantastic communication channels between teachers and parents and allows you to extend your behaviour management strategy beyond the classroom. With dojo points awarded for good behaviour and excellent work, and deducted for poor performance, this is the ideal tool for keeping your students accountable, no matter where they’re learning from.
Teaching online may be different and challenging, but that doesn’t mean that your creative lesson plans should suffer. These interactive teaching ideas from The Global Classroom should support parents, students and teachers alike to ensure education and learning are not compromised during the COVID era.